Maria Shriver to bring message of hope to benefit for Greenwich’s Family Centers

February 4, 2018 GMT

GREENWICH — For years the Greenwich-based nonprofit Family Centers has used its Center for HOPE and Den for Grieving Kids to help people deal with sudden tragedy. Now those programs are getting a dose of star power to help fund their operations.

Maria Shriver, a journalist and best-selling author, will be the featured speaker at the Center for HOPE Luncheon on March 1. Tickets are on sale for the event, which will take place at noon at the Country Club of Darien.

The programs offer counseling and support for people of all ages throughout lower Fairfield County who are coping with loss or are facing a critical illness or another life-altering circumstance.


For Bill Brucker, vice president of Family Centers, the support from the annual luncheon is absolutely critical.

“The funds that are raised are going directly to help people,” Brucker said. “The Den for Grieving Kids is a free service that is providing critical support for people who have lost a loved one. And the Center for HOPE is something that is out there to help people regardless of their ability to pay.”

The services are offered to children and adults and include individual, group and family counseling as well as support groups and community education by specially trained professionals.

“We try to have speakers who are going to come and offer people hope,” Brucker said. “Our mission is to provide guidance and support to people dealing with a life-changing circumstances. We want uplifting speakers to provide a good message to people.”

Shriver, a correspondent for NBC News, has written several books, including one about Alzheimer’s disease. Her father, Sargent Shriver, a former ambassador and founder of the Peace Corps, battled Alzheimer’s until his death in 2011.

Her new book, “I’ve Been Thinking,” is billed as reflections for “those seeking wisdom, guidance, encouragement and inspiration on the road to a meaningful life.” It is set to be released Feb. 27.

It includes guidance and advice from her mother, Eunice Kennedy Shriver, who founded the Special Olympics, as well as the lessons she has learned from being a mother and about handling the curveballs life has thrown at her. Shriver’s talk in Greenwich is expected to center around many of the same themes.

All attendees will receive a copy of the book. Tickets start at $125 and can be purchased at www.familycenters.org.

Previous speakers have included Elizabeth Edwards, the former wife of presidential candidate John Edwards who talked about her battle with cancer; actress and activist Mariel Hemingway; Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Anna Quindlen; and Marie Tillman, widow of Pat Tillman, who gave up a professional football career to join the military and was killed by friendly fire.